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Coronavirus infects 14 Parliament Office staff members

The potentially deadly coronavirus, COVID-19, has infected 14 staff members of the Parliament Office and they are being provided the necessary support, House Speaker Manzoor Nadir announced Wednesday.

Before debate on the 2020 National Budget began, Mr. Nadir said of the 126 staff members and parliamentarians, 14 workers were tested positive. He said the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs was making arrangements to ensure that “we can look after the good health of our parliamentary staff.”

The House Speaker again appealed for patience as the coronavirus “is beginning to take its toll on the members of the staff of the Parliament.”

He said even before the results became available Mr. Isaacs had taken steps to support the staff members. “The clerk has taken the necessary actions since the test to ensure that our staff has been provided with the supplements and the necessary protocols,” he said.

The House Speaker, who tested positive more than two weeks ago, continues to manage the sittings remotely while the Clerk, Deputy Clerk, other staff members and many parliamentarians continue to attend sittings physically at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

Parliamentary sittings are not being held at Parliament Building because the Chamber does not have sufficient space to accommodate parliamentarians, staff members and the media in keeping with social distancing rules.